Concerns, complaints and compliments

We welcome hearing from you about concerns, complaints and compliments. All the information we receive is used to continuously learn and improve.

If you have a concern, complaint or compliment about the Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB) you can contact our governance team, who will be pleased to help or share your feedback with our teams.


At HSSIB we set ourselves very high standards in everything we do. We continuously try to do better and to learn from our mistakes. If you see us falling short of those high standards, we want you to tell us so we can put things right.

What is a complaint?

We define a complaint under this procedure as any expression of dissatisfaction with our actions or our failure to act that requires a response.

For example, you may wish to complain if you feel we have:

  • treated you unfairly
  • provided poor service
  • acted incorrectly
  • delayed unreasonably in doing something
  • failed to take action
  • failed to provide information.

It does not include:

  • requests for information under either the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Data Protection legislation, or a complaint that we have failed to comply with a Freedom of Information request
  • whistleblowing (as defined by our whistleblowing policies)
  • employment matters
  • a matter which is or has been investigated by the Health Service Ombudsman.

What we look at

Our approach is designed to reflect the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's approach to complaints handling, as the Ombudsman has jurisdiction to investigate complaints about HSSIB.

This means that, given the nature of our role, when we investigate complaints about HSSIB, the primary focus is on process rather than the merits of the substantive decision being complained about (e.g., a decision not to take regulatory action).

Therefore, we generally look at whether we have:

  • correctly followed our policies and procedures (which may include looking at whether those policies and processes are fit for purpose)
  • acted unreasonably.
  • acted without undue delay.

However, if we find that we failed to follow the correct process, we then need to look at whether the substantive decision would have been different (e.g., would we have taken regulatory action had we followed the correct process?). This is necessary to determine the impact of the fault identified.

Time limits for making a complaint

Please make your complaint as soon as possible. We are unlikely to investigate a complaint made to us more than 12 months after the event that has caused you to complain.

How to complain about HSSIB

Please make your complaint to our Board, Governance and Records Manager.

  • Email:
  • Phone: 07708 345904
  • Address: Lytchett House, 13 Freeland Park, Wareham Road, Poole, Dorset, BH16 6FA

How HSSIB will deal with your complaint

We will:

  • Acknowledge receipt within three working days.
  • Phone you where possible to confirm our understanding of your complaint, agree how your complaint will be handled and a timescale for completing our investigation (usually within 40 working days).
  • If we think your complaint will take longer than 40 working days to resolve, we will contact you.
  • Investigate your complaint, which may include gathering documents and interviewing members of staff, in a manner appropriate to resolve the matter speedily and efficiently.
  • During the investigation, keep you informed of progress, as far as reasonably practicable.
  • Apologise if we have got things wrong and take action, if necessary, in the light of the outcome of the complaint, including making changes to our processes to avoid making the same mistake again.

Our Chief Investigator is made aware of all complaints about HSSIB.

Next steps

If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you can complain to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).